Saturday, October 23, 2010

Johnny Depp As Nick Charles?

William Powell and Myrna Loy were two of my favorite movie crime stoppers.  They starred as Nick and Nora Charles in the Thin Man movies based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett, one of the legendary Black Mask writers.  Hammett was a professional San Francisco private eye for 12 years and based a lot of his writing on his personal experiences.

Nick Charles was an ex private investigator who married rich and was comfortable being a semi alcoholic and trophy husband.  He never intended to work again.  But his wife and circumstances kept pulling him back onto the crime scene.

The first movie came out in 1934 and was written a lot like the radio scripts of the day.  Dialogue tended to move the story along and fill in all kinds of background very quickly.  As a result, the actors and actresses fill the screen with rapid fire witticisms and comebacks.  Sarcasm was liberally salted throughout.

The formula of two rich people involved in crime and murder that dearly loved each other as well as their own company worked again in the 1980s with Jennifer and Jonathan Hart in the television series Hart to Hart.  There have been riffs on that formula since, but none of them have enjoyed the success of the initial movies or of that television series.

I just found out from several sources, including Paul Bishop's blog, but Johnny Depp has thrown his hat into the ring to become the new Nick Charles.  I think he would be absolutely wonderful in the role.  The only problem would be finding a modern-day Myrna Loy who could keep on equal footing in the scenes.

If you've never seen the original movies, I would encourage you to do so now.  Amazon has got a full collection of a black and white set for a very good price.  

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